The Rescale ArchiveNovember 28, 2011
Rescaling something always has effect. It makes us notice things. It changes the way we perceive, and it reinstates a certain autonomy of the object. But what happens if the rescaled object is the human body? How would we perceive reality if everything around us increased in size because we got smaller?
The only people to actually experience such a thing are the characters in works of fiction. And they speak to us through the imagination of their authors. In the Rescale Archive we collect descriptions of the experience of these fictional characters as written down by their creators. We let the characters in timeless classics like Gulliver’s Travels, Alice in Wonderland and The Incredible Shrinking Man be our guides to a possible future.
We would also love to include your favorite descriptive passages to The Rescale Archive. Please send them HERE.
Book: The Micronauts by Gordon Williams. Subject: Grass
‘Grass was hard. The short blades had longwise ribbing as tough as ship’s planking. The tall seed-bearing stems were silica-bright and polished smooth as stainless steel, the leaves so electrically lustrous they seemed to be under a vast green spotlight.’
Book: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Subject: A Nurses Breast (Brobignac)
‘I must confess no object ever disgusted me so much as the sight of her monstrous breast, which I cannot tell what to compare with, so as to give the curious reader an idea of its bulk, shape, and colour. It stood prominent six feet, and could not be less than sixteen in circumference. The nipple was about half the bigness of my head, and the hue both of that and the dug, so varied with spots, pimples, and freckles, that nothing could appear more nauseous.’
Book: The Micronauts by Gordon Williams. Subject: A Snail
‘Its shell was as big as a bubble car, the dark brown shadings concentrically spiralled in the pattern of an embossed Roman shield. Its two uppermost antennae, like fingers with eyes, seemed to decide they were of no interest. With the beautiful spiral shell rolling like a howdah on the back of an elephant, the crocodile-skin body slid through the grass, leaving a silken trail of mucus which felt like damp rubber.’
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Subject: Tears
‘I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. ‘I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’
Book: The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson Subject: Time
‘But, somehow, days seemed longer now. It was as if hours were designed for normal people. For anyone smaller, the hours were proportionally magnified.”
Book: The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson Subject: Sleep
‘He lay under the cardboard box top listening to the silence, exhausted but unable to rest. An animal life without an animal mind did not induce the heavy, effortless sleep of an animal.”
To be continued…